Perfect Rice Pudding
by Felicity Cloake from Completely Perfect (Penguin)
50g soft light brown sugar
100g pudding rice (short-grain pudding rice ideally)
1 litre whole milk
Zest of ½ a lemon, finely grated
1 bay leaf
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
A pinch of salt
150ml double cream
2 tbsp sweet sherry, preferably Pedro Ximinez (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/ gas 3. Put the butter in a flameproof pie dish over a gentle heat, and, when melted, add the sugar. Stir and cook for a few minutes, then tip in the rice, and stir to coat. Cook until the rice has swelled slightly (2-3 minutes), stirring continuously, then add the milk and stir well to dislodge any clumps of rice and sugar on the bottom of the pan.
2. Add the lemon zest, bay leaf, spices and a pinch of salt, then pour in the cream and sherry, if using, and bring to simmer.
3. Bake the pudding in the oven for about 2 hours, until it has set, but is still slightly wobbly; it may need a little longer than this, but do check on it regularly (particularly in the last half hour). Serve warm, but not piping hot.
Simple Fruit Coulis
Take 500g of soft fruit (peaches, strawberries, apricots, blackcurrants – whatever happens to be in season) and remove any stems or stones. Chop larger fruit roughly, and then put into a blender with 300g of caster sugar & whiz to a purée.
Taste and add more sugar if the fruit needs it, then keep refrigerated until ready to use.